When I was growing up, my neighbor owned a pony farm. Stan only had a small mattress factory, but he bought more horses and ponies, built bigger barns, bought more trailers and went to lots of horse shows. You would have thought Stan loved horses. But his son Bobby got struck by lightning at nine years old and Stan sold everything. Stan didn't love horses. His son Bobby did. Stan loved Bobby. God loves what we love and God hurts when we hurt. Then do I murmur or ask Him for help?
My mom used to love those "Find the hidden pictures" so I looked for them everywhere. I never worked one. When mom lost interest in them, I stopped getting them. God will only lose interest in the things in our lives, when we do.
If I had seen God making the little flowers, I would have said,"Excuse me Lord, but that won't work. Even though you have male and female, neither of the two can walk..." And He would have said, " If you will just be patient and watch, I will show you concepts you have not yet imagined..." He created the little flowers to make nectar they cannot use and created the little bees to need nectar they cannot make and then told the little bees how to find the nectar, so the little flowers can visit each other through the pollen, even though they will never meet. I still tell God, "That won't work..." and He still tells me, "Be patient..."
Years ago, I bought a brand new 4x4 Ranger. I had never owned a 4x4 before. I thought that little truck could do anything; at least, I wasn't aware of anything it couldn't do. One particularly snowy winter, I pulled lots of cars and trucks out of the freeway divider valley. One time I was pulling a big Chevy out and the guy was watching the little Ranger run around the foot of snow like a little snowmobile and he said, "How's it do that?" I didn't know what he was talking about; I didn't know it couldn't. God's only limitations are the ones we place on Him in our lives.
The story that brought this about:
I was turning into my alley to pull into the garage and two young girls about 10 years old are waving small signs like car wash signs. They follow me to the garage and I read the signs-"Two Dollar Makeovers" I ask them what a makeover was and one said, "We put lipstick on people, we're good at it, honest." I told them I didn't want a makeover, but if I had any money in my pocket, I would contribute to their attempts to make some money, I gave them a twenty and told them they have to get some change to divide it and to have a nice day and went on in the house. I got to thinking about it and here are two little girls innocent as the driven snow, trying to find a way to make some money, clearly been watching too many infomercials, but the signs are going to cause them trouble. [Their parents didn't know about the signs...]
A day later, four kids come up to the garage as I am rearranging some stuff and I softly chew these little girls out about the signs and they all leave sad. I am praying about what the Lord has in mind, these little kids coming into my life now after living here twenty years dealing only with adults.-I refurbish older computers and give them to needy families. I pray for guidance. I ask my family to pray about this. I tell them I have a bad habit of making the Lord my last line of defense, instead of my first. I say, "The only thing I know to do is pray," instead of saying, "I know exactly what to do-pray." My sister brings it into perspective, "First response, instead of last resort..."
Two days later, the two little girls are knocking on my door with some French toast as a peace offering. I give them ten dollars apiece as a peace offering, cracking the door only a little to keep distance but grateful for the healing. Two days later, the little girls set up a garage sale outside of my front door. I am the only customer. I don't know what to do, but I give them twenty and tell them to pick out twenty dollars worth of stuff and set it on my porch. I am praying harder than ever now. Two days later, my sister is here and the one little girl knocks on the door and wants me to meet her family. My sister tells me and I ask her to ask the little girl to leave. I have no clue what to do about this except slam on the brakes. My sister runs her off.
I tell the Lord, He will have to find someone else to help this little family as this thing got off on the wrong foot and I see no way to right it. I cried. I grew up dirt poor. There were fourteen of us kids and we lived in a shanty shack until I was in the eighth grade. At six years old, I shined shoes in bars to try to take some money home to mom to buy potatoes. If we went to the Saturday Movies, it was by selling the same newspaper ten times in bars. I know where these little kids are coming from, but I am helpless to help. I cried.
The next day my neighbor ask me to look at her computer, as I am her IT guy. There is a woman there visiting and I find out she is those kids' grandmother. I ask her if I can talk with her. I tell her the story and I tell her mine. She tells me the little family struggles financially, she didn't think the little kids had ever had new school clothes and things are really rough for them, especially now . I ask her if she would be my go between and provide a buffer for both sides. She said she would love to, as she helps all that she can, but her resources are so limited.
I had ask the Lord to open a door to give me the opportunity to give back a little for all He has done for me all my life and especially as a child. But I had given up. The situation seemed too big for me. All I could see was in today's hormone driven society, any direct interaction with kids stands little chance of turning out good and I have no clue how to shift it to something constructive. I told the Lord, "This won't work..." and although He was silent, I now see, He was saying, "Be patient..."
The older I get, the more I realize life is about learning to acquire and apply wisdom, purpose and patience. Most of the time, I feel like a remedial student; but the Lord doesn't give up on what I am reaching for, even when I have- if it is important to me.
The Lord is an Enigma. He makes music out of our mess; but then we see it took the build, to make the presentation.
I guess this is my blog. I picked a woman up this afternoon, when I was coming off the freeway. She was walking seven miles from our local hospital to home. She said she hated to walk all the way home but dreaded the thought about somebody picking her up, because of all the bad stories in the news. She said she guessed there was still good people in the world. Then I talked her ear off... :-))) I don't like the terms good and bad, they are relative by reference and everyone has a story; but there are still people who care about people, they just don't sell many newspapers, so all we hear are the horror stories.
My sister has a three year old grandson and she keeps an LCD night light plugged into an outlet in his bedroom. In the daytime, you can't see it; you don't even know it is there. But at night, it is really bright. We all have the opportunity of being like the little LCD every day just by a little extra effort. By providing contrast, we not only stand out, we can make a difference.
At work, we have a motivational directive by our new Management Team, that could aptly be called, "Raising The Bar." A couple of years ago, just as our new team was being put in place by our new Director, we had a major building that all maintenance services were subcontracted out, so on our own, I and another coworker made it our mission to get the subcontractor evicted and recapture the building by performing Black Ops. The building personnel called us the A Team. They knew we weren't supposed to be there, but we were fixing problems that had been there for 10 years or more. Now, the subcontractor was really nice; but his little company just didn't have the skills necessary to do the work that needed to be done. He is gone and there are maintenance techs that argue over who gets to work in the building. We changed the standard, by raising the bar. This was the focus of the new Director, so our personal focus fit right into the direction our whole department was getting ready to take.
Our new Director rewrote our Mission and Value Statement, "To Exceed Customer Expectations by taking action on the Customer's behalf, even when it requires going outside or beyond our Job Description." She has been in place for about two years or so and instead of talking about subcontracting out all maintenance services, her team is winning awards and other corporate environments are flocking to her door, to see how she turned it around so dramatically. We don't have to follow what someone else is doing or let someone else set our standard. We can change the standard by raising the bar and become a light in a dark place.
Have a great day!
The third version of this page won't be in the zip file. You will have to backspace out the .htm file to the forward slash and click on Go or hit Enter to download enigma3.ssc. You can click on File/Save As/Webpage with the page open and capture the rest of the files used in the build... All of my page folders are open all the time and the sscs are yours for the taking.